The Nuclear Suppliers Group, which controls the export and sale of nuclear technology worldwide, gathered in Vienna Thursday to discuss whether to amend its rules and allow India to share US knowhow.
The members of the Nuclear Supplires Group
The 45-member NSG gathered for a two-day meeting at the headquarters of Japan's permanent mission to the IAEA in Vienna to debate a proposal by the United States for a special waiver for India.
India cannot receive foreign nuclear materials and technology at present as it has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NSG usually bans trade with countries that have not signed the treaty.
The proposed US-India nuclear cooperation deal has already been given the green light by the UN atomic watchdog when the International Atomic Energy Agency approved a special safeguards agreement with India.
But the deal has to be cleared by the NSG before it can be voted by the US Congress.
Critics have said the deal undermines international non-proliferation efforts by providing US nuclear technology to a non-NPT state that developed atomic bombs in secret and conducted its first nuclear test in 1974.
India has refused to sign the treaty saying it discriminates between the nuclear haves and have-nots.
Diplomats said the NSG was not expected to make a final decision this week and another meeting in early September could be necessary to reach consensus.
Diplomats said that a number of countries including Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries would propose amendments to the US draft deal.